What is the "Core"?
The core refers to a group of deep stabilizing muscles in and around your lower back and pelvis that include the diaphragm, transverse abdominis, multifidus, and the pelvic floor muscles. The core muscles do not actually create any specific movement, instead they anticipate the contraction of your body's large movement muscles. This provides stability to the spinal and pelvic joints so that you are well protected when you initiate a movement.
A strong core not only prevents back injury but also impacts other parts of your body. A healthy core provides a strong base of support for arm and leg movement which can help prevent and rehabilitate hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow and neck injuries. It also helps provide increased consistency, endurance and strength for sports, work and general daily activities.
Evidence has shown that after a back injury, the core muscles' anticipatory contraction prior to body movement is impaired. In fact, pain itself can inhibit the core muscles from reacting in a timely manner. This creates a vicious cycle of injury>pain>impaired core muscles>higher risk of injury. Specific core strengthening by a physiotherapist can help you to re-engage the core muscles and prevent future injury.
Our Vancouver physiotherapists will teach you a very specific group of progressive exercises to not only strengthen your body's deep stabilizing muscles, but to also improve their timing in relation to other body movements. Entry level exercises begin with learning how to contract your core muscles and eventually progress to a variety of dynamic movements which can be tailored to a specific sport, job or activity.